Chemical customers want more digital buying experience
The Accenture 2020 global buyer value study shows that it is very important for customers in the chemical industry to have a digital interface and experience, making interaction easier and more intuitive - but chemical suppliers underestimate the importance of these values. In addition, in the past few years, few chemical companies have successfully established an effective and exclusive online marketing and trading channel. Early examples of successful online stores, such as Dow Corning and sigma Aldrich, have not been widely imitated by the whole industry. On the contrary, outsiders (such as knowde, molbase, chemondis), distributors (such as UNIVAR, Brenntag, chembid) and well-known e-commerce giants (such as Alibaba, Amazon commerce) have taken the lead in setting new standards for digital interaction.
The requirements of seamless digital experience are very clear, including the following points:
Search: easy to use; user friendly; product and formula search; comparison and support
Request: automation; interactive; information retrieval support artificial intelligence, to provide a friendly experience for
Quotation: real time quotation negotiation
Due date: real time available view and confirm due date and interactive management date change
Confirmation: real time order confirmation, including price and delivery time
Fulfillment: reliable delivery of commitment
However, few chemical suppliers can meet these requirements. Companies with inventory and production assets seem to be in a good position to integrate customer front-end and asset back-end into a seamless digital experience to interact with customers. However, they are limited by interruptions in legacy enterprise architecture, silo data, and end-to-end processes. In general, chemical distributors face greater challenges in their enterprise architecture, as a series of acquisitions can lead to multiple ERP instances, inconsistent master data, decentralized process landscape, and decentralized digital plans.
Without these technical debt, new entrants like knowde, molbase and chemondis have established a third-party digital market for deploying cloud, product information and data structures, process automation, artificial intelligence and user experience design. They build these capabilities at speed and scale, and offer significantly different customer experiences and value propositions.
Considering the traditional market access mode of chemical suppliers, the current channel is facing the risk of interruption. This is because, although the cost of sales is relatively high, which is 4-5% %, the scalability of commercializing new products, pursuing new customers or contacting small customers is limited. In addition, every existing channel appears on the channel. This is an inevitable change of the channel. The reasons are as follows:
Digitalization will lead to a step-by-step reduction in the distribution of chemicals through sales representative channels and new business models
Artificial intelligence and automation raise internal sales to a new level of effectiveness; and
Collaboration and digital experience
How to avoid confusion for chemical suppliers
In order to avoid confusion, the strategic choice of chemical suppliers seems to be very clear:
Through large-scale deployment of cloud computing, digital technology, artificial intelligence, automation and experience design, reshape the sales and marketing functions of or
Work with digital markets to quickly capture new features and catalyze the shift from current approaches to sales and marketing.
No matter which choice a company chooses, it is very important for the whole chemical industry to ignore the hype about the advantages and disadvantages of the third-party digital market. On the contrary, digital market should be welcomed as an innovator because it provides an additional channel to reach and reach customers - which any chemical company should consider beneficial
Digital market and should be paid close attention because they redefine the boundaries of customer experience, interaction and transaction, and set new standards in user experience, process efficiency, data integrity, open standards and participation in marketing. The best of these markets is not simply to "digitize the old world", but to modernize and speed up the way buyers and sellers interact. Like it or not.